Douglas County Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge champion named finalist at state competition

May 29, 2024 4:13 pm

Updated: May 31, 2024 4:00 pm


Felix Kirkland, first-place winner of this year’s Douglas County Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC), was selected as a finalist in the state competition this spring.

Felix was among 81 students who participated in the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge in April in Manhattan. They were judged on their business executive summaries and mock boardroom presentations. Thirty-one students received a cash prize, including Felix who received $1,700. The competition is open to students in grades 6-12. 

“It was pretty fun to compete, and I had a great time,” said Felix, who just completed eighth grade at Liberty Memorial Central Middle School in Lawrence.

His business idea is “Greener Grass,” an all-electrical lawn tool rental service. The company would have solar-powered storage sheds located in neighborhoods where people could rent all-electric lawn tools, such as mowers, trimmers, leaf blowers, edgers and batteries that are charged by the sun.

Tyler Lindquist, of Multistudio, was a judge at the Douglas County competition and has provided Felix with some local networking connections in hopes of possibly turning his business idea into a reality. “Felix has done a great job moving forward with his business goals,” Lindquist said.

Felix has talked to professors in the KU School of Architecture and Design, and he has been researching where to buy tools. “My business is conceptual, but I would like to actually build it, so the next step is to get and find all the tools,” he said.

In addition to competing in the local and state youth entrepreneurship events, he participated in the second annual Douglas County Pitch Competition, presented by CORE and Black:30, on April 25 at the University of Kansas. Felix was among 18 participants of all ages, and he received honorable mention and a $300 prize. “It was very interesting, and I learned a lot. I got to see some very cool ideas,” he said.

Next year’s Douglas County YEC event will be on Friday, Feb. 7, 2025, at the Dwayne Peaslee Technical Training Center. If you are interested in sponsoring or participating in the event, please fill out this form.


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Contact: Karrey Britt, Communications Specialist, kbritt@dgcoks.gov

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